Friday, October 2, 2015



Luster said...

Dear Bob,

In the winter of 1975-76, my friend Mike Hills handed me Marcus's Mystery Train and said you need to read this and I did. It was the first time the skills I saw the skills I had learned as a literature student used to understand the music and culture that I loved. I sent off for and received back a record and a fine handwritten letter from Harmonica Frank Floyd, the medicine show performer turned proto rock 'n' roller. A month later, That summer, I needed one more course to finish out my certification to be a high school English teacher and walked into the university bookstore and there was Mystery Train sitting beside a book on the blues, and others on country music, gospel, and corridos. I'll take that one I thought and showed up the first day with my Harmonica Frank record. The instructor locked eyes with me, with the record, and said we're going to be friends. He took me to meet the great folklorist Vance Randolph, oversaw my education, literally driving me to the University of Pennsylvania, and thirty years later, after having performing a similiar mentorship with Rachel, performed our wedding ceremony.

Train I ride, is sixteen coaches long....

stay close,

Bob Arnold / Longhouse said...


I found the very same book in 1975, same as you. Mine was a library copy that later was canceled from the library stacks and a year later I found the book at the library annual book sale. Still own it, of course. The new book
by Marcus is a life's work, packed with everything we all want to know, should know, soon to know. It could take another life time to read. We start now.

all's well, Bob